austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I got you, babe

So hey, how about my annual check-in to Bridgeton, New Jersey? The Cohanzick Zoo had its annual Coatimundi Day, something like its 20th according to the not perfectly clear report on This was held, as tradition has it, the 1st of February, so as to get a jump on groundhogs. And it features three coatis, Floriemel, Carmela, and Margarita. They're not coatimundis. Well, no such thing as bad publicity, right?

They had a different decision mechanism this year. I forget just what last year's was, but they used to check whether the coatis went for a plate of food labelled Winter and another plate labelled Spring. For this year they labelled one part of the enclosure Winter and the other part Spring, and let the coatis prowl around to see where they'd spend more of their time.

Judging where animals spend more of their time playing is a tougher call than which plate of food they're sitting at. But it does give the zoo more chances to show off videos of unusual animals playing, which is probably better for the real point of this thing. And they did some pretty good climbing around, including upside-down, clinging to the mesh of their enclosure.

Anyway, the judges concluded that the coatis spent more of their time on the 'winter' side, so they're calling for six more weeks of winter in South Jersey. We shall see, although I don't think any of us actually will.

The Vineland Daily Journal's web site has a short video showing the coatis off. Warnings: autoplay video, incorrect use of ``it's'' as a possessive.'s site has still pictures and no obvious problems with basic grammar. I should warn, though, when I looked one of the related features was about a dog examined by veterinarians who hope to heal her mauled face. While that's a good development, the link for it has an unsettling picture, and the whole story is no easier.

Trivia: Alfred Latell, who began vaudeville as an animal impersonator in 1902, would dress ``in various guises'' and provide ``the appropriate noises''; by 1909 he was renowned for impersonating monkeys, billy goats, bears, and dogs. He described the last as the most challenging. He also did parrots and ostriches among other birds. For his dog outfit he had joints made for his hindlegs so he would move more naturally, and a tube for his mouth to let him lap up milk. His cat costume included a string to tug to raise the fur on its back. Source: The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville, Anthony Slide.

Currently Reading: Tubes: A Journey To the Center Of The Internet, Andrew Blum.


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